The Great North American Road Trip: Day 1 – Denver, CO to Billings, MT

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Date: 8 June 2016
Start: Superior, Colorado, USA

End: Billings, Montana, USA
Distance Traveled: 547 miles
Total Time: 7.5 hours

If only the above picture had been a metaphor for how the first day of my insane 8500 mile road trip across northwestern North America started – beautiful weather, lovely greenery, and the backdrop of the omnipresent Rocky Mountains. However, instead of getting a good night’s sleep and leaving on time, I came down with a sinus infection and got to spend two hours this morning at the doctor’s. Fun, right? As a result, I left my ex-home in the northwest Denver metropolitan area two hours late.

Luckily, that was really the only hiccup in an otherwise perfect day. Beautiful weather combined with 80mph speed limits in most of Wyoming and Montana meant it was smooth sailing, especially considering the lack of traffic thanks to Wyoming’s ridiculously low population density.

Denver to Billings

Of course, that fact about Wyoming also means that aside from the cities of Cheyenne, Douglas, and Casper, the view is largely unspoiled by people. You might think this meant I got to experience extraordinary natural beauty that could only be seen in a state most known for containing part of Yellowstone National Park, but unfortunately most of the state is really just rolling plains…which is cool, if that’s your thing.

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Wyoming – famed for Yellowstone, doesn’t contain much else

Yes, most of it really is that “scenic,” if you can call it that.

Seven-and-a-half hours after setting off, I arrived in the gorgeous city of Billings – though “gorgeous” is complete and utter sarcasm here. Sorry Billings residents, but your city feels like an overgrown truck stop, devoid of any of the incredible geography that fills the surrounding areas. I can’t complain too much though, since a friend there is letting me stay at his place for free. Free is nice!

On the other hand, I snapped this picture in Billings and I think it looks nice
On the other hand, I snapped this picture in Billings and I think it looks nice

There’s really not much more to say than that. Driving long distances is inherently uneventful, but the next few days should get considerably more exciting – especially as I penetrate the Arctic Circle. Yes, that is going to happen, barring an act of god or an unfortunate breakdown.

I’m pretty excited, I must say!

Anyway, catch you all tomorrow (hopefully).

Meet Ridge (middle) and his girlfriend Raechel (right) - my gracious hosts for the night. That guy on the left is me.
Meet Ridge (middle) and his girlfriend Raechel (right) – my gracious hosts for the night. That guy on the left is me.
Spring means bugs. Bugs mean gross windshields.
Spring means bugs. Bugs mean gross windshields.

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